UNL keys on ‘Crops for Future’ at Husker Harvest Days Sept. 15-17
Millions of acres. Billions of bushels. Years of research and testing.
Nebraska occupies a position of unquestioned global leadership in crop research and production and the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources has helped get the state there.
This continuing commitment to “Crops for the Future” will be highlighted in a series of exhibits at the Husker Harvest Days show in Grand Island Sept. 15-17.
The all-new exhibits mark the second year that UNL Extension experts and Agricultural Research Division scientists will concentrate their Husker Harvest Days exhibits and presentations into more defined topical areas of current interest and concern to all Nebraskans. This theme-based exhibiting approach debuted last year with a focus on water.
“IANR has worked hand-in-hand with agribusiness and producers to make Nebraska a global leader in agriculture, through groundbreaking research, imaginative ‘what if’ thinking and unmatched in-the-field extension education,” said NU vice president and IANR Harlan vice chancellor John Owens.
“Our displays at Husker Harvest Days will help show that capitalizing on crop production in the future isn’t just about what and how much we grow, but also about growing it better to make sure we’re ready with the cropping answers we’ll need in 10, 25 or 50 years.”
IANR exhibits will address a variety of crop research topics, including irrigation development and efficiency, GMOs and their environmental impact, Dicamba-resistant soybeans, oil-producing crops, the long process of bringing new varieties to growers, marker-assisted breeding, biofuels, propagation of seed, and responding to fertility, biomass and management challenges in measuring crops.
Other topics include manipulating plant defense mechanisms to enhance natural resistance to disease and pests, specific-use crops, managing crops for economics, environment and yield and what comes next: Will corn, wheat and soybeans continue to be Nebraska’s primary crops and what the ideal crops for the future may be.
A central information booth will help answer questions on a variety of extension and research-related topics, provide copies of helpful NebGuides and direct those needing help to Extension experts in their local area.
IANR’s “Market Journal” television program returns with new presentations in the Market Journal tent next to the Husker Red exhibit building, where it will present 30-minute discussions on crop and livestock marketing and other topics. Programming encourages studio visitors to ask questions of the panelists. Examples of program topics during the show include The Changing Face of Ag Credit, Looking to the Future: Climate Change and Nebraska’s Cropping Systems, and Plan Your Grain and Cattle Marketing Strategies.
State Sen. Tom Carlson, chairman of the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee, has worked with the Market Journal team to arrange a panel discussion about grain indemnity funds; that session is scheduled at noon Sept. 16. Carlson said he hopes the discussion will help kick off his committee’s examination of the issue, which is scheduled to occur in two public hearings this fall.
Also on display at Husker Harvest Days will be the new high definition television Market Journal remote production van that supports Market Journal programming.
Extension’s well-known mobile plant diagnostic laboratory will also be on display.
There will be plenty for potential students and their families to see, as well. They will be able to explore a full range of enrollment options and find information on courses of study through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, School of Natural Resources and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis, among others.. The very successful Nebraska Leadership Education/Action Development (or LEAD) program also will be represented at the show.
“Last year’s conversion to a theme-based approach to showcase the best of IANR research and extension programming was an unqualified hit with those attending the show. Our goal is to improve on that performance by showing producers and the public our commitment to them now and into the future,” said UNL Husker Harvest Days coordinator Steve Ress. IANR has been part of Husker Harvest Days since the first show in 1978.
IANR show themes will change to reflect areas of concern and focus for the state’s producers, agribusinesses and natural resources concerns, every year or every other year, Owens said.
UNL’s familiar Husker Red exhibit building is located on the south side of the showground at Lot 321.